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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Cinebook The 9th Art: The Blue Coats 11: Cossack Circus

Authors: Lambil & Cauvin
Age: 8 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
Publication: January 2018
ISBN: 9781849183833
Price: £6.99 inc. VAT

Stark’s constant, reckless charging has once again depleted the 22nd Cavalry. Faced with an understandable dearth of volunteers, the Army’s brass drafts – without telling them – some freshly arrived immigrants. And Blutch and Chesterfield are tasked with instructing them in the art of riding down the enemy. But there’s a problem: the new recruits only speak Russian! And while those Cossacks are already fantastic riders, they have no desire to die for the glory of the Union...

I always have to point out to people that, if you go by the Lambil art you may think this is just daft “goofball” fun.  Well, there is that but the stories never shirk away from the fact that men are dying and being thrown into battles as cannot fodder –by this period people assume that the old European marching en masse into enemy gunfire was a thing of, say for the Americans, a thing of the Revolutionary War of 1775-1783.  It was not.

Here we see Sgt. Chesterfield try various nasty ways to make the Russian recruits –there was a plentiful supply of European immigrant cannon fodder at the time- understand they are there to train and fight.  Something Blutch is not keen on since he knows these men will be just cannon fodder and though Chesterfield knows this he is in the US Army and been given his orders.

Cauvin adds all of this seriousness into the goofyness and humour but after the first outing of the new cavalrymen the General is almost shocked to hear that all of them have returned from Captain Stark’s latest suicide run.

Never let the cartoony art fool you.

An excellent series.

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